WATERLOO, Ont.—BlackBerry Ltd. announced its popular secure messaging service will soon come pre-installed on a host of smartphones around the world running Google’s Android operating system.
As the Waterloo, Ont.-based tech firm makes the anticipated shift to a more software-focused brand in hopes of rebounding from the financial doldrums it has experienced over the last few years, it announced Android smartphones in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East will come with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) pre-installed from the factory.
“We’re thrilled to be working with leading Android smartphone manufacturers from across the globe to help bring their customers the best out-of-the-box experience with BBM pre-installed,” Andrew Bocking, executive vice-president of BBM at BlackBerry, said in a statement.
According to BlackBerry, Android smartphones from Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen will include BBM pre-installed as early as next month.
The company confirmed that BBM will continue to be available as a free download from Android app stores, including the Google Play store.
“It is clear that smartphone customers see BBM as a must have app for active conversations,” Bocking said. “The uptake we have seen for BBM since the launch on Android and iPhone is amazing.”
Launched in 2005 on BlackBerry devices globally, BBM offers encrypted messaging in either one-to-one or group formats.
The service also lets users share files like photos and voice notes with contacts.